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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My Partner is Japanese and living in Japan, but we have no

Resolved Question:

My Partner is Japanese and living in Japan, but we have no problem proving the veracity of our relationship. We have been legally advised that she can enter the UK as a general visitor, and then we can marry and she will have the right to remain here. However, the Home Office website seems to contradict this: "41. The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a general visitor are that he:
(x) does not, during his visit, intend to marry or form a civil partnership, or to give notice of marriage or civil partnership;"
Which is correct? If we have been mis-advised, should she get a fiancee visa in Japan? Can this be converted to a spouse visa, once she is in the UK. without the need to return to Japan? Or is a spouse visa necessary from the outset?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. Is it intended that she will come here, marry you and then remain here PERMANENTLY with you so that you can both settle together as a married couple
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes. That's it exactly.


Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Hi Richard,

Thanks for your reply.

You have been wrongly advised. It is a term of any visitor’s visa that they applicant should not stay any longer than the length of time the visa is granted for. This is taken to meant that they shall not seek to secure a extension or switch to another category in order to secure a longer more permanent stay.

If she were intending to only visit, marry and then return home she would have to apply for a special form of visitor’s visa – a marriage visitor’s visa:-

In your situation she must apply for a fiancé visa by applying for settlement. Once married she would then have to apply for a spouses visa (settlement), this is permitted and in fact required. Two applications, two application fees.

The eligibility criteria is largely similar for both applications. If you meet this you will almost certainly not be refused a spouses visa:-

• You plan to marry within 6 months of her arriving here
• You plan to live permanently together here
• You have met each other
• You can support each other without the need for public funds
• You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds
• That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)
You have to produce to the UKBA documentation that proves the above. This would be some of the following:-
• If you are to apply for a fiancé visa you will have to show evidence of your intention to marry, so things like purchase of a ring, evidence of having met (photos correspondence etc), booking of a wedding venue, evidence of invites etc.
• Bank statements from both you and your wife going back 6 months showing the income/capital you have available
• Payslips (6 month of) and a letter from your employer stating that you have a permanent job, contract of employment
• Documentary evidence of any other assets you hold (eg. Shares, evidence of ISAs or bonds)
• Marriage certificate, Birth Certificate, passport
• Evidence of correspondence between you and your wife showing that the relationship is credible and genuine (eg. Emails, letters, evidence of previous trips, photos showing you together, phone records
• Evidence of the accommodation where you will live (ie. land registry officials copies of the property that you own, mortgage documentation, copy tenancy agreement if you rent, council tax statements, house report by a solicitor, letter from landlord confirm he is happy to give you a further tenancy agreement
• Evidence that she can speak English:
• You should also include job adverts showing jobs available that your wife could do when she comes here and show, via your wife’s CV, that she has the qualifications and work experience that she would be a viable candidate for those roles
Further information here:-

The application will have to be supported by evidence proving the above eligibility criteria. They key to a successful application is producing well-collated documentary evidence for the above criteria. You will also have to produce statements made by both of you explaining and supporting how you meet the eligibility criteria.

You will need to apply for fiance/spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available for download from the UKBA website

Generally, I’ve found that persons considering applying for fiancé/spouse visa are surprised by the documentary requirements and complicated nature of the application preparation.

You should consider instructing a immigration solicitor based here in the UK to prepare an application for her (whichever way you decide to do it). You can find local solicitors via:-
It should cost around £1000-1500+ VAT. It will save you money in the long run, in all probability.

The spouse visa will be granted for a period of 27 months. She can apply for indefinite leave to remain once she has been here for 24 months. 12 months later she can apply to be naturalised as a UK citizen provided she has not spent a lot of time outside the UK during the 36 months total.

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Kind regards,

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